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Seeley and Village Board end all displays and messages in Catskill

Jul 23, 2020 6:33 am
Village of Catskill President Vincent Seeley pre-empted debate on an "All Lives Matter" mural on Main Street, with a new rule eliminating all messages and displays from the village before any debate during a July 22 meeting. PLAY EXCERPT OF SEELEY'S STATEMENT HERE. Since the Village of Catskill "will not be approving any message, political or otherwise, to be displayed on any village street. This includes banners, as well as murals," then "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" seem out, and so does Village Trustee Natasha Law's plan to plant plaques honoring famous Black Catskill residents around the village. On June 30 the Village board announced an unanimous vote against putting a "Black Lives Matter" mural on Main Street, even though there was not a meeting that day, or any other day since they asked the group proposing the mural for more details on June 24. Seeley said during a July 8 meeting that the vote took place on email out of public view. On July 22, after Seeley read the statement against all messages and displays, he took a formal vote, who all said they agreed with the new policy without first hearing public comment on the issue. Then, Catskill resident Joe Izzo, who had requested the "All Lives Matter" mural, withdrew his proposal. More than 60 people attended the meeting on the telephone. So far, over 4,300 people have signed an online petition in favor of the "Black Lives Matter" mural on Main Street. Most speakers during the July 22 meeting used the word "disappointing" to describe the Village's vote not to allow a "Black Lives Matter" mural. A full recording of the meeting to play or download is in the WGXC Archives and on the WGXC Newsroom.
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